Cardiac Care at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital

Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital has a long history of leadership in cardiovascular care. Our innovative approach to prevention and treatment, our outstanding outcomes and our patient- and family-centered, compassionate care philosophy have earned us a national reputation as a center for cardiovascular excellence.

No wonder, then, that Emory Saint Joseph’s Structural Heart Program is leading the way in treating heart valve disorders, from medical management and traditional open surgery to the latest in minimally invasive valve repair and replacement.

Our Structural Heart team is composed of experts from many cross-functional heart and vascular areas, including interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery and cardiac imaging. These physicians work together to provide innovative solutions and the best possible outcomes for our patients with structural heart diseases. Some of the highlights of our Structural Heart Program include:

Aortic Arch Repair

In addition to treatment of common aortic aneurysms and dissections, Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital also offers a full range of complex procedures to repair more complicated presentations and anatomy along the entire length of the thoracic and abdominal aorta, including:

  • Aortic root replacement
  • Valve-sparing aortic root repair
  • The Ross Procedure, an aortic valve replacement option that may be ideal for younger and more active patients
  • Aortic arch repair with branched stent grafts
  • Acute aortic dissection treatment
  • Re-operative aortic aneurysm repair
  • Minimally invasive, endovascular and hybrid open-endovascular options for select patients

Due to the complexity and variation of patient anatomy and aortic pathologies, we employ the latest technologies and procedures to provide the best available treatment for the full range of aortic artery disease. Our multidisciplinary team includes cardiovascular and vascular surgeons, cardiologists and cardiac imaging specialists who work together to tailor the most appropriate treatment approach for each patient.

Because of our long tradition of innovation and expertise in cardiovascular care and our continued excellent outcomes, Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital is a regional referral destination for complex, life-saving aortic procedures.

Calcium CT Scoring & Cardiac Screenings

Atherosclerosis may often be identified early through coronary risk screening like calicum CT scoring, before adverse effects like a heart attack occur. As we age, plaque made up of cholesterol and other lipids (blood fats), calcium and fibrous tissue can build up inside our arteries. Plaque can continue to grow in arterial walls over time, leading to atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries. As the plaque buildup thickens, the walls of the arteries become more narrow, restricting the space through which blood flows.

Calcium scoring - also referred to as CAC scoring - is a technique to determine the volume of calcified plaque present in the arteries. Computed Tomography, or CT technology, is used to take pictures of your heart and the surrounding area, providing detailed, three-dimensional images. Between 200 and 300 slice images are generally taken over the course of 8 to 10 seconds.

If CT scanning does not provide sufficient information, or if you have symptoms such as chest pain, we may suggest higher-resolution cardiac CT angiography, or cardiac CTA. During this procedure, which also uses the CT machine, we inject an intravenous contrast into your arteries to discover if there is narrowing of blood vessels in conjunction with the amount of plaque. 

We also perform cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI) scans, which are especially helpful in diagnosing cardiac masses, structural changes and weaknesses in the heart muscle (myocardium).

To schedule a Calcium CT Scoring or other cardiac screening test, call 1-877-250-STJO (7856).

Robotic-Assisted Cardiac Surgery

At Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, we offer some of the most advanced cardiovascular treatments available. In fact, we are the first heart center in Georgia to adopt the use of minimally invasive, robotic-assisted cardiac surgery.

Robotic heart surgery uses sophisticated technology to enhance the physician’s surgical expertise during delicate and demanding cardiac procedures, such as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, mitral valve repair and replacement, atrial septal defect repair and transmyocardial revascularization. We have world-renowned cardiac surgeons on our team who specialize in performing robotic-assisted heart surgery, and also regularly train other cardiac surgeons from around the country and the world in the use of this technology.

We combine our clinical expertise — which few institutions anywhere can match — with our commitment to compassionate, collaborative patient care, so you can be confident that you will receive exceptional treatment at Emory Saint Joseph’s.

Robotic Mitral Valve Repair

Thanks to advanced technology like the da Vinci® Surgical System, combined with the expertise and extensive experience of our surgical team, the Emory Saint Joseph’s Visconti Center for Robotic Surgery is among a select few centers in the world to offer robotic mitral valve repair and replacement without using large incisions or cracking the rib cage. In fact, the Center has performed more than 1,100 minimally invasive mitral valve repairs and more than 100 minimally invasive mitral valve replacements to date and is one of only five training sites in the world for the da Vinci Surgical System.

For most patients, minimally-invasive mitral valve surgery performed with the da Vinci Surgical System can offer numerous potential benefits over open surgery, including:

  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Less pain and scarring
  • Less risk of wound infections
  • Less blood loss and fewer transfusions
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

Physicians at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital are now treating eligible patients with aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve opening, using an innovative procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). TAVR is performed by interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons who work together to place a new valve inside the heart without stopping the heart or opening the chest.

To accomplish this, a specially designed valve is compressed to the width of a pencil and delivered to the heart using a small incision in the groin or chest. Emory University Hospital and Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital have been at the forefront of developing this game-changing procedure through active participation in key clinical trials.

If you’re in need of expert, compassionate cardiac care, you’ve come to the right place. Please call us now at 1-877-250-STJO (7856) to get started.